Yardley Court

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Yardley Court
Tudeley Road

TN11 0NJ

Coordinates51°11′05″N 0°17′57″E / 51.18468°N 0.29905°E / 51.18468; 0.29905Coordinates: 51°11′05″N 0°17′57″E / 51.18468°N 0.29905°E / 51.18468; 0.29905
TypeOther Independent School
MottoLatin: Comites in comitate
(Friends in Friendship)
Local authorityKent
Department for Education URN118960 Tables
Head teacherDuncan Sinclair BA. HDE Prim, MA (Educational Leadership & Management)
Age7 to 13
Former pupilsOld Yardley Courtiers

Yardley Court is an independent day preparatory school for boys in Tonbridge, Kent, England, founded in 1898 by Arthur Bickmore and his wife Gillian. It is a public school in the British sense of the term.

There are currently around 600 boys in the school, aged between 7 and 13. The school occupies a site of 65 acres just outside Tonbridge, and is self-contained on listed park land. Since its foundation the school has been located on two sites, including the current site. Originally the school was situated on Yardley Park Road, close to Tonbridge School. For the academic year 2018/19, Yardley charges £5,155 per term.

The Headmaster since 2017 is Duncan Sinclair, previously Headmaster of Taunton Preparatory School and Deputy Headmaster at St Michael's Prep School, Otford.


Founded in 1898, Yardley Court was in its early years run by members of the Bickmore family, including Maurice Bickmore (MHB) and Eric Bickmore (AFB). Eric Bickmore played cricket for Oxford University (1920–21) and for Kent County Cricket Club (1919–29).[1] Its original location was situated on Yardley Park Road, close to Tonbridge School.

In 1983 John Barber was appointed joint headmaster. He resigned in 1992 and was replaced by acting head Tony Brook.[2] Since 1997, John Coakley has been the headmaster. The deputy head is Christopher Murray, who arrived at the school in September 2015.

Yardley Court has had close links to Tonbridge School for many years. A high proportion of boys have gone on to Tonbridge, many of them winning scholarships. Some Yardley Court choristers are members of the Tonbridge School choir.[3][4]

The school moved to its current site in 1990. The Yardley Park Road site was sold to a housebuilder for a substantial sum, which secured the school's future. Yardley Court was joined by Derwent Lodge in 1993, with a Pre-Prep school joining in 1996. The three schools are now known collectively as "The Schools at Somerhill".

Roll of Honour[edit]

44 former students, Masters and catering staff lost their lives in World War I and 63 in World War II. Their names are listed on two plaques on the Roll of Honour. A wreath laying ceremony is held each year on Remembrance Day.[5]

The OYC Roll of Honour includes Wing Commander Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC, Battle of Britain fighter pilot and recipient of the Victoria Cross.

Other notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lewis P (2014) For Kent and Country, pp.102–104. Brighton: Reveille Press.
  2. ^ http://www.somerhill.org/504/yardley-court/history/brief-history
  3. ^ http://www.somerhill.org/358/yardley-court
  4. ^ https://www.tonbridge-school.co.uk/co-curricular/music/groups/chapel-music/
  5. ^ "Roll of Honour".
  6. ^ "OYC News".